· Forest degradation
· Road construction
· River and stream erosion
The forest or pasture may be deliberately set on fire in the hope of obtaining a good growth of grass after a limited rainy season. Another common practise is the burning of wild grass or undergrowth to search for wild animals. Unextinguished camp fires of trekkers, shepherd camps or roadside charcoal panners may spread and cause forest fires. Unextinguished cigarette butts and matchsticks are another cause of accidental forest fires, especially in areas of dry forests. In addition to this, natural vegetative systems sometimes get extensively damaged when fires spread uncontrollably from burning operations carried out in the adjoining agricultural fields. Fires are also caused by lightning or sparks from electric poles in dry areas.
Fires cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem, which is made up of both plants and animals. Moreover, trees, shrubs and herbs, particularly those of a tender age, get damaged very easily from fires. The devastating effects of fires can be gauged from the fact that an entire generation's growth of forests and pastures may be wiped out within a couple of hours by a devastating fire.
Forest fires have an adverse effect on the productivity of the forest or grassland ecosystem and also cause damage to the soil in these areas. As the vegetation is damaged in areas of forest fires, the soil is exposed and often eroded by wind and water. Fires may cause extensive damage to wild animals and their habitat -- particularly the young ones. On a large scale, this disturbs the delicate balance of nature in the area.
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